The responsibility for the administration of intravenous (IV) drugs in the EP lab lies with the nurse, under the direction of the physician. Because IV medications are delivered directly into the bloodstream, their administration requires more knowledge and greater precautions than other methods of drug administration. Drug serum levels reach higher concentrations, and adverse reactions occur more rapidly and are usually more severe with the use of IV medications. Therefore, it is important to recognize the problems associated with IV drug administration and to impose caution when dispensing drugs by IV push.
IV administration ensures prompt onset of action and reduces ambiguity allied with the incompleteness of drug absorption by other routes. This type of drug delivery requires regular monitoring by a nurse, because this route increases the risk of side effects or toxicity.
It is important for the EP nurse to display an understanding of the drug to be administered by exhibiting knowledge regarding the rationale for the use of a specific drug in a particular patient, the rate of the drug administration, the drug’s possible side effects, the drug’s normal dosage range, and the compatibilities